Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Shelly Hickman and her Fortytude series!
~ * ~ BIO ~ * ~
Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as a computer illustrator. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer literacy and media technology at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dogs, Frankie and Junebug.
~ * ~ STALK ~ * ~
~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~
I asked Shelly Hickman, “What is the best and most rewarding thing you find about being a writer? Want to share what you think is the worst and most frustrating thing you find about being a writer?” and here is the response.
I’d have to say the most rewarding thing about being a writer is connecting with readers. I can’t tell you how ecstatic I become when I receive an email or read a review to discover that a reader could really relate to something in the story, or they loved the characters so much that they didn’t want the book to end. When that happens, it makes my whole week!
There are lots of other rewarding aspects of writing: being able to express myself, building friendships with other writers, feeling the accomplishment of completing a project, and just taking time to escape real life for a little while. However, making connections with readers is most definitely the best part.
By the same turn, there are frustrating things about being a writer. One at the top of my list is marketing. Urgh. I wish I were much better at it. It’s especially difficult trying to find your target audience. With new adult and contemporary romance being hugely popular, I don’t exactly know how to go about finding the audience who enjoys reading about characters who are older than their twenties and thirties.
Reviews can also be frustrating. All authors know that negative reviews come with the territory, but occasionally reviewers will make plot points that are actually incorrect or didn’t take place, and you wonder if they even paid attention to the story. But when receiving negative feedback of any sort, you just have to realize you will never please everyone and try not to let it get to you too much.
Overall, there are definitely more pros than cons. Otherwise, no one would do it.
~ * ~ BLURB for VEGAS TO VARANASI ~ * ~
Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard.
Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her.
In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?”
~ * ~ BLURB for MENOPAUSE TO MATRIMONY ~ * ~
The sequel to “Vegas to Varanasi” catches up with Anna and Kiran a couple of years after the event that brought the once “ugly duckling” high school acquaintances together. But will their romance continue to flourish in the face of a whole new set of insecurities brought on by middle age?
First, there’s Kiran, who has an unexpected health scare. While his doctors assure no permanent damage has been done, there seems to have been some damage to his personality, as the normally respectful and reserved Kiran begins behaving erratically and overtly. Anna wants to hope that this is temporary, sparked by the visit of Kiran’s womanizing, free-spirited cousin, Seth. But is this just the midlife Kiran surfacing?
Anna has midlife issues of her own. Now forty-eight, she’s navigating the onset of perimenopause and all the delights that come with it, from facial hair to mood swings to body temperature issues. On top of that, her two-year-old granddaughter is starting to show signs of a behavior disorder, bringing with it a whole other level of stress and worry.
Will Anna and Kiran finally find their happily ever after? Or end up stuck in a midlife mess in this romantic comedy of accepting change, and “the change.”
~ * ~ EXCERPT ~ * ~
Kiran folds his arms over his chest and his expression sobers. “Before we take the trip into old town, I have to make sure you’re prepared for the bathrooms. Did you do your homework on bathrooms?”
I don’t like his somber tone and furrow my brow. “No… But I used the bathroom at the Delhi airport.”
“That’s different. They have western toilets there. Have you ever heard of a squat toilet?”
Oy. “Is that sort of like a port-a-potty?”
Kiran tries to contain a grin. “No. It’s not like a port-a-potty.” He walks over to the computer in the corner of the living room and turns it on. “It’s time to pull up some YouTube videos.”
No, no, no. Please tell me I’m not going to sit here with Kiran and learn how to go to the bathroom in India.
“You’ll want to make sure you carry toilet paper with you while in the city.”
Not such a big deal. That’s good practice in the States while on a road trip. Many rest stops won’t have toilet paper.
“Okay. I brought a bag that can accommodate a roll of TP.”
Kiran sits me down in the chair in front of the computer and pulls up a video on how to use squat toilets. A very questionable looking fellow proceeds to talk about “the art of laying cable” and “how to take a dump, by the book,” all in subtitles.
~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~
NOTE: “Vegas to Varanasi” is now perma-free on multiple platforms
~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~
Shelly Hickman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
~ * ~
Shelly Hickman, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤